Ian Ryan Award (2001–2019)

Julie Ryan and her family wish the Birkie Award to be retired after the 2019 presentation. The Club introduced The Birkie Award in 2021.

In 2000 the Club decided to present a Club Award each year to a ‘Quiet Achiever’, ‘Best Club Person’ or the ‘Best Volunteer’. It was to be called the Ian Ryan Award in memory of Club member Ian Ryan who tragically died at the end of the 1999 Kangaroo Hoppet. The award is to a Club member who has worked hard behind the scenes to make sure programs and activities are provided to other Club members. Selection process — The previous two winners plus the President select the winner for the year. Julie Ryan normally presents the award at the Clubs Annual Pre-Season Casserole Dinner in June.

Past Winners:

  • 2001 — Judy Bottomley
  • 2002 — Jenny Van der Ploeg
  • 2003 — Philip Evans
  • 2004 — Bill Little
  • 2005 — Jim Gargan
  • 2006 — Brian Keeble
  • 2007 — Sue Hertzog
  • 2008 — Ronice Goebel
  • 2009 — Liz Harvey
  • 2010 — Bob & Jenny Flower
  • 2011 — Margaret Trnka
  • 2012 — Paul L’Huillier
  • 2013 — Michelle Forrer
  • 2014 — Trish Cross
  • 2015 — Jim Crebbin
  • 2016 — Helen L’Huillier
  • 2017 — Nick Wright
  • 2018 — Ann Bellingham
  • 2019 — Blair Hume
  • The Award was retired following the 2019 presentation.

From left: Julie Ryan & Judy Bottomley inaugural winner — 2001

Click photo to enlarge

Obituary — Ian Ryan (The Border Mail – Thursday 2 September 1999)

The teaching profession and many north-east communities and sporting clubs have been left so much the poorer after the sudden death of Mr Ian Arthur Ryan, 45 years.

The popular teacher, outdoor adventurer and sportsman died at Falls Creek on Saturday 28 August after competing in the Kangaroo Hoppet. A teacher at the Bogong Outdoor Education Centre (BOEC), the life of Mr Ryan will be celebrated at an open-air service from 1pm today. It will be at Mountain Creek camping ground, Tawonga, at the base of his beloved Mt Bogong.

Mr Ryan moved to Wodonga from Melbourne in 1977 to teach senior biology at Wodonga High School. In the April of 1989, he was appointed to the Bogong Outdoor Education Centre, where his scientific knowledge complemented a well-travelled adventurous life.

Teaching Colleague and friend Mr Craig Chapman worked with Mr Ryan at the Bogong OEC for six years and had this to say about Ian. “Ian’s contribution was enormous…he had an infectious enthusiasm for the outdoors which was very evident in his teaching. Ian loved to explore the Bogong High Plains, whether on skis, mountain bike or by foot. He derived great pleasure from sharing his outdoor experiences with family and friends. Ian excelled in many sporting and recreational pursuits, often displaying his fierce determination, but always with grace and good humour. He embraced the experiences of life, treating problems as new opportunities, and encouraged others to do the same. Those who knew Ian are left with the challenge of making the most of life’s opportunities, as he did so well. Ian was held in the highest regard by fellow staff and he was a hugely popular and well loved person in the local community…he will be sadly missed.”

Mr Trevor Mathews, who taught with Mr Ryan at Wodonga High School, said his involvement in teaching extended far beyond the classroom. “A life-long interest in outdoor education saw Ian as an active participant in camps and school excursions, and a leader in the development of those programs. He was heavily involved in the school’s performing arts program for many years, giving his expertise in lighting and sound engineering for many school musical productions.”

Past principal of the Bogong OEC Mr Piers Hartley said Mr Ryan was “first and foremost a dedicated and compassionate teacher”. “Ian was a reflective thinker and consummate team member who brought considerable maturity, wisdom and good humour into all his professional and personal relationships,” Mr Hartley said. “He had the extraordinary ability to be able to respect the views of others whilst quietly and persuasively bringing his own considerable insights to bear on the matter.”

Mr Ryan was a member of the Mt Beauty Cricket Club, a leader in the 1st Mt Beauty Cubs and Scouts, and a respected teacher of Zen Do Kai Karate.

He is survived by his wife Julie, and his children Sean and Leah.